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Conference Paper

Excite-O-Meter: Software framework to integrate heart activity in virtual reality


Gaebler,  Michael
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Quintero, L., Muñoz, J. E., de Mooij, J., & Gaebler, M. (2021). Excite-O-Meter: Software framework to integrate heart activity in virtual reality. In Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR). doi:10.1109/ISMAR52148.2021.00052.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-2419-2
Bodily signals can complement subjective and behavioral measures to analyze human factors, such as user engagement or stress, when interacting with virtual reality (VR) environments. Enabling widespread use of (also the real-time analysis) of bodily signals in VR applications could be a powerful method to design more user-centric, personalized VR experiences. However, technical and scientific challenges (e.g., cost of research-grade sensing devices, required coding skills, expert knowledge needed to interpret the data) complicate the integration of bodily data in existing interactive applications. This paper presents the design, development, and evaluation of an open-source software framework named Excite-O-Meter. It allows existing VR applications to integrate, record, analyze, and visualize bodily signals from wearable sensors, with the example of cardiac activity (heart rate and its variability) from the chest strap Polar H10. Survey responses from 58 potential users determined the design requirements for the framework. Two tests evaluated the framework and setup in terms of data acquisition/analysis and data quality. Finally, we present an example experiment that shows how our tool can be an easy-to-use and scientifically validated tool for researchers, hobbyists, or game designers to integrate bodily signals in VR applications.